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From the Archive: Gitmo Coverage, Prompted by ‘The Mauritanian’

Watch the feature film The Mauritanian for a true story about a Guantanamo prisoner who spent 14 years in US custody and was tortured many times.  Here are some important podcast interviews about injustice that continues today.

Your humble host strongly recommends this new movie, which stars Jody Foster as dogged attorney Nancy Hollander, who took on the case of Mohammedou Slahi (played by Tahar Rahim), the Guantanamo prisoner who was scooped up after 9/11, tortured in Afghanistan and again at Gitmo.  After Hollander won his release, the Obama administration did not release him for 7 more years.  Watch the movie trailer here.

The Biden administration has just announced 3 prisoners it has cleared for release, but no dates are set, as repatriation plans are not set.  The 3 have been held for up to 19 years, and like Slahi, have never been charged.  And in a Faustian bargain, Majid Khan–who pled guilty to being an al Qaeda courier–has agreed not to demand testimony about his torture from CIA consultants Mitchell and Jessen, in exchange for a promised release in the next year or two.

Here are links to a few podcasts about Guantanamo and related matters:

This episode from June, 2014 opens with British journalist Andy Worthington, who gave me many great interviews, sharing his deep knowledge of our torture resort in Cuba; in the second part, attorney Jon Eisenberg joins us to describe his legal efforts to expose and end the brutal force-feeding of prisoners who went on hunger strikes as the only way to protest their inhumane, open-ended incarceration without charge or trial.

Jon Eisenberg also led the legal team that fought the illegal wiretapping and attempt to frame a Muslim nonprofit from Oregon.  We followed the Al Haramain case on my syndicated radio show from 2006 to 2009, and continued the coverage on the podcast starting in 2009.  In this 2013 episode, Eisenberg recaps the case as he explains why he and his colleagues declined to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, fearing a bad precedent that would apply nationwide.  The huge irony as the the government inadvertently supplied the evidence of illegal wiretapping, then got courts to rule that the evidence was secret.  Add Kafka reference, here.  For me, this was one of the darkest moments in the “war on terror” that shredded the Constitution.

And here’s one of our many interviews with reporter Jason Leopold, who gave us great coverage of Guantanamo and America’s torture crimes.  In this podcast, he talks about James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who were made over $80 million by the CIA to design and manage torture tactics.  He also details the battle over Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s torture report, which was suppressed by a bipartisan group of leaders, from Barack Obama to then-CIA Director John Brennan and most of the top leaders of the Senate.